Woman charged after TSA finds loaded handgun in her carry-on at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

Loaded handgun confiscated from woman's carry-on at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (TSA)

ROANOKE, Va. – A woman was charged after she was found with a loaded handgun in her carry-on at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport on Wednesday, according to TSA.

Officials said the Roanoke woman’s 9mm handgun was loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber.

TSA officials said they found the gun in the woman’s bag and immediately alerted airport police, who confiscated the weapon and cited the woman on weapons charges.

Passengers are allowed to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition.

Nationwide, TSA officers detected 3,257 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year, although the total number of passengers screened at airport checkpoints across the country fell by 500 million compared to 2019 due to the pandemic.

The result was that twice as many firearms per million passengers screened were detected at checkpoints in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, TSA caught approximately 10 firearms per million passengers as compared to about five firearms per million passengers in 2019.  Of the guns caught by TSA in 2020, about 83 percent were loaded.

To find more information on traveling with a firearm, click here.

About the Author:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a content producer in July 2018.